The Director General, Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Dr Salihu Lukman, yesterday alleged that there was a plot to ensure return of Adams Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He claimed that there were moves to undermine the Governor Mai Mala Buni- led Caretaker/Convention Working Committee to achieve the goal ahead of the party’s national convention billed to hold before the end of the year.
The DG, in a correspondence to the Buni- led caretaker committee, said: “Everything is being done to ensure that the internal politics of the party is manipulated to create a situation whereby Oshiomhole is forcefully made a contender for the position of the national chairman at the extra ordinary APC national convention.”
Lukman, who is a strident critic of Oshiomhole, said that part of the plot was to use the Edo governorship poll to bully APC leaders to submission.
“Ordinarily, this should not be a problem. However, given that unacceptable strategies are being deployed to blackmail and bully all leaders of the party to make Edo election the only priority of the party makes it very disturbing.
“Even more disturbing is the clear indication that Oshiomhole and a section of the APC leadership that is working with Oshiomhole are not preparing to approach the Edo election based on fair contests. Not even the request of President Muhammadu Buhari for ‘a transparent process so that the confidence of the people will be strengthened’ is guiding the management of the Edo campaign.”
In particular, President Buhari was reported to have urged the Edo State APC governorship campaign team “to do all that is necessary by following legal and constitutional means to win the election.”
Lukman urged the Buni-led caretaker/convention committee to encourage internal debate without intimidating members who hold divergent/dissenting views from those held by leaders.
He further suggested convening a dedicated session of the national caucus to review the 2019 general elections, including Kogi and Bayelsa elections, and now preparations for Edo and Ondo governorship polls.
He also craved convening a NEC meeting to consider and approve proposed activities of the caretaker committee up to the extraordinary national convention;
Lukman urged the committee to commence processes of membership recruitment/verification to lead to reformation of leadership of the party from wards, local government, states to the national convention.
According to him, there is also the need to set up a constitutional review panel which should be able to submit proposals for amendment of the APC constitution.